Cyclone Debbie – the good and the bad

As the state continues to recover from ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie, the real cost of the cyclone quite possibly will never be known.

The cyclone, which crossed the coast on 28 March, 2017 as a category-four system and caused subsequent flooding in communities from the Whitsundays to New South Wales and then across to New Zealand. Over 72,000 Queenslanders requested assistance.

And while PERILS, the independent Zurich-based organisation providing industry-wide catastrophe insurance data disclosed its initial property market loss estimate for Debbie at $1.116 million, there are other losses that are just not counted.

Cyclone Debbie caused the closure of many schoools in Queensland for two days and many businesses also closed in the lead up. Once the Cyclone past, many of the affected areas had further closures as a result of public utilities.

Business owners wore the cost of the closures with these figures unlikely to be ever known.

While many analysts expected the cyclone to have minimal impact on broader economic growth, there was severe damage to sugar and fruit and vegetable crops causing shortages in supply.

A quarter of all sugar produced in Australia comes from the Mackay-Proserpine region, with the Bowen region also a key producer of fruits and vegetables including mangoes, tomatoes and capsicum.

But there are some postivies that have come from Debbie including the fact that emergency services including the SES and volunteers who did a marvellous job during the disaster.

More coverage

In comparison to Cyclone Yasi in 2011, Queenslanders now have wider insurance coverage options available.
It is important to have a broker assist and talk to you in handling the claims process.

With reports of policy holders being scammed by people, doorknocking at homes, claiming to be representing Insurers and demanding cash payments to clean up, inspections and repairs. No Insurer’s representative would ever demand cash for such work.

These scams highlight the importance of having a broker who can assist with the claim process in what is a stressful situation.